Potential Pinterest Fail Project

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I present to you the owl I was hoping to make to display on my kitchen wall. I pinned this on one of those days last summer when I obviously had too much time on my hands. I thought it was cute and kitschy, and a great way to recycle those beer bottle caps I’d been saving.

This week, when I re-discovered this pin, I decided to actually read the instructions on how to create this spectacular  work of art. However, there were no actual instructions. 

But there was a list of items and tools needed for this project, which included the following:

  • Large metal lid-All my pot and pan lids are glass. May have to purchase used one at thrift store.
  • Medium metal lid-See above
  • Small metal lid-See above again. Duh.
  • Metal washer-I think those are little circular things used for stuff around the house. Check with Hubs.
  • Metal button-I ought to be able to find one around here somewhere.
  • Dessert spoon-What the fudge is this? Who has special spoons just for eating dessert? Not this broad.
  • Metal cutters-Ummm…not sure about this one..check with Hubs.
  • Vice-Well, my vice is chocolate. Not sure how that fits into this project. But I’m willing to try and figure it out. 
  • Pliers-No dental tools in this house. Maybe Hubs can come up with something?
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks-Now, I know for a fact I have glue sticks because I recently bought them to use on a far simpler project than this. But damned if I can find my trusty hot glue gun. Must make a run to Michael’s asap.
  • Cordless drill-Yay! Something I know we actually have in the garage.
  • Screws (optional)-I ought to be able to round a few of these up.
  • Slender tree branch (also optional)-We have plenty of trees in our neighborhood. Might need to get out the ladder to find just the right branch on the right tree though. Maybe Hubs will volunteer since I’m scared of heights?
  • Beer bottle caps-Certainly we have enough of these!

I would like my beautiful owl to look precisely like the pic I pinned. Which means I need green, silver, and white beer bottle caps. Problem is, we don’t necessarily like Heineken beer. We like craft beer, like what we find here in Colorado (though technically, Heineken is considered a craft beer, surprisingly enough). And our delicious craft beers do not all have green, silver, or white caps. Damn!

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Our beer bottle cap collection.

 

Hmmm…guess I could buy the estimated 18 cases of Heineken required and dump it down the sink. But what a waste of mediocre beer not to mention a huge waste of money. 

Maybe I could find a neighbor who regularly drinks Heineken. I know 3 of my neighbors so far. The odds are not with me on this. 

Oh, I could go and knock on all the neighbors doors, introduce myself, and ask them if they drink Heineken and if they keep all their bottle caps. I’ll explain to them my new art project and what it means to me. I’m sure they are all nice people and will help this gal out, right? 

If that doesn’t work, then I could put an ad on Craig’s list or on the Next Door neighbor app, pleading for donations of Heinekin beer caps.

This could take a while.

10 Fall Favorites

 

Pumpkin desserts…mmmm. I have collected a good number of  recipes for delectable pumpkin treats over the years. Like pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin pie cake, and pumpkin ice cream dessert. The one I’ll be making this week, in honor of my sister and brother in law coming to visit us in Colorado for the first time ever, is Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt cake. I’m more than happy to share any or all of these recipes. All you have to do is ask!

Beautiful fall colors outside. The colors of the changing leaves this season to me are breathtaking. I imagine when Hubs and I are old and gray grayer we will be one of those couples who takes a vacay out East to marvel at the spectacular fall foliage there.

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Rocky Mountain National Park, September 2016. Photo courtesy of Hubs

Premieres of my favorite t.v. shows. After a summer of ho-hum t.v. viewing, I embrace the fall t.v. season. This is Us premieres tonight (btw, am so happy that Sterling K. Brown won the best actor emmy. His character is the heart of this show). The Good Place, Hubs and my favorite new show from last fall, has already premiered and it continues to be the most awesome show since like, ever. Then there’s Scandal, which sadly is on its last season. I can’t wait to see how Olivia Pope is going to behave sans white hat. You gladiators know what I’m talking about. And good old Grey’s Anatomy, one of my all time favorites. I sure hope the writers finally wind up the love story between Alex and Jo once and for all.

Halloween!!! After approximately 18 years of having a kid-focused Halloween (aka going back and forth ad nauseum with our spawn about what freaking costume they want and hiding candy that I bought too early that was always found and mostly consumed before the big day), Hubs and I have re-claimed this holiday for ourselves. Last year, we dressed up as Walter White and Jesse from Breaking Bad. Picture will not be made available. Complete with fake blue crystal meth (Hubs, being a scientist, relished the opportunity to create this product). This year, I’m thinking either Samantha and Darren from Bewitched because I tend to have witchy tendencies and he is a great straight man of course. Or Peg and Al Bundy from Married With Children though I’m not sure I can pull off spandex pants in public. 

The cool air in the house as I’m sleeping. Nothing says “Nighty Night, Sleep Tight” to me than breathing in the cool air from our bedroom window while spooning with Hubs under soft, freshly laundered bedding.

Nesting. The cool chill in the air makes me go inward. As in, I crave the creature comforts of home right now more than any other time of year. I tend to come up with totally awesome home improvement/decorating ideas this time of year, often to the chagrin of Hubs. I get a huge kick out of going through boxes of fall themed home decor items which Hubs lovingly refers to as either crap or junk, depending on his mood. I am pleased to report, however, that last weekend he and I started a kitchen pantry re-organizing project which has weirdly filled me with glee.

Talk show Halloween hijinks or pranks. I discovered these on You Tube a couple of years ago. Here’s a sample:

 

Don’t forget Ellen’s Haunted House prank

Vikings football. Until about 3 years ago, I could not have cared less about football. While Hubs has been a huge Vikings fan all his lifelong life, I essentially focused on making and/or eating football fare like chips and dip, little smokies, and pumpkin bars instead of trying to follow what I believed to be a hopelessly confusing and complicated sport. After a couple of seasons of focus and patience, I now have a good rudimentary understanding of the game. I even found that it is possible, heck even enjoyable, to cheer on our home state’s team while simultaneously snacking my heart out.

Fall clothes. Oh, comfy, cozy, soft sweaters. And fleece! Lovely colors to wear like plum, burgundy, gray, and the always flattering black. With the temps rapidly falling here in Colorado, I’ll be bringing my fall pieces out in no time.

Getting company. For several years now, fall has signaled a flurry of guests coming to visit us, whether we lived here or in Wisconsin. My sister and three of her best girlfriends would come to Wisconsin for a 2 day girls trip during which we would stay in a hotel in downtown La Crosse, and get our fill of shopping at the local boutiques and shops during the day and slurp down our favorite adult beverages while scarfing down appetizers at nearby restaurant/bars in the evenings.  Friends or other family often come to visit during the fall as well, to celebrate Oktoberfest (which is a La Crosse, Wisconsin annual several day long party, complete with lederhosen and plenty of beer infused revelry).

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Look what I can do! I made my own meme!

 

Dreams are weird

My right eye was glued shut when I awoke. I rubbed it to release it from its captivity. My brain still fuzzy from sleep, I recalled the scenes in my head of which I had no control just moments prior.

I was going back to college. I do not know at which age I inhabited. It seemed irrelevant. Emotionally, I felt wholly unprepared. I felt panicked and confused. Classes were starting soon, and I could not recall for the life of me how close I was to graduating. Most upsetting, however, was that I had no memory whatsoever of registering for any classes.

What on earth am I going to do, my panicked brain wondered to itself, if I am in fact not signed up for any classes at all? OMG, I will have to find a minimum wage job to work until the next semester rolls around and I can resume my studies.

What can I do to prevent this from happening?

Wait, there must be a way for me to check on a computer to see if I’ve registered. Maybe it’s simpler than I thought. Now I need to find a computer….

Cut to a completely different scene. 

I’m in a large warehouse type of place. I’m disheveled. Un-showered. Smelly. Dressed like a bum. Pathetic.

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There’s a movie crew there. The star is amongst this crew. It’s Shirley McLaine. I must meet her before she has to get on the plane to another filming location. But I really have to pee. There are no bathrooms in sight. Only a bathtub filled with water. I am wearing jeans. I really have to pee. I step into the tub, fully clothed, and relieve myself.

 

I feel so much better now. There’s Shirley! She is walking towards the exit wearing a fancy outfit complete with heels (clicking and clacking on the concrete). She is wearing a large, Kentucky Derby type hat. She looks so glamorous and important. 

I will not let this opportunity pass me by. I race over to her. She turns around, startled by the sight of me fully clothed and dripping wet.

I tell her that I love her work (though I can’t recall off the top of my head what films she was even in). I tell her that despite my current situation, I was not willing to miss the opportunity to meet her in person. That I didn’t want to have any regrets.

Okay, you interpreters of dreams, have at it.

11 things I can’t live without

So I thought I’d have a little fun with lists again. It’s been a while. I could go with the obvious things that I truly could not exist without, like air, water, a beating, healthy heart-but where’s the fun in that?

Instead I’m going to focus on those things, excluding people, because people are not technically things. Duh.

Without any further ado…..here are the things I can’t live without I need to function in order to be the best version of myself.

#1: Coffee. Those 2 cups of strong black coffee with a generous splash of half and half,  a teaspoon (give or take) of Truvia, with a sprinkling of cinnamon on top is the fuel in my my personal gas tank.

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Me, upon waking each morning.

#2.Our personal computer. This blog wouldn’t exist without it.

#3. My DVR service. One of the best inventions in the last century, IMHO. I can tape whatever show or movie I fancy and watch it at my leisure. Fast forwarding through those pesky commercials is an added bonus.

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A portion of what I have saved on my DVR. Need to watch these asap!

#4. Zoloft. Anxiety, be gone!

#5. My heating pad. I have bursitis, primarily in my right hip. God only knows why. I turn on that puppy when I’m cozied up with Hubs watching t.v. at night. It relaxes and loosens my hip muscle and allows me to sleep comfortably in my preferred position, which is of course on my right side.

#6. Books. Since my “gap year” began, in July of 2016, I have had the blessing of time to read truly great ones. They have taught me lessons (about omens in Paulo Cohelo’s “The Alchemist”). They have entertained me, like Amy Schumer’s “Girl with the Back Tattoo”. They have delighted me, like Amy Krause Rosenthal’s “Textbook Amy Krause Rosenthal”. Even once paid employment is part of my life again, I fully intend to continue reading.

#7. My crockpot. One can make some seriously delicious meals in these with minimal effort. And the way the house smells when I’ve got honey garlic chicken (like today) in that wonderful vessel is intoxicating.

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#8. Since I’m talking about smells, I must include my love of candles. All kinds of them. Like the apple basil ones I recently got. Or the “home and heart” soy square candles that pop into pretty night-light thingamabobs (see above). Or the honeysuckle scented candle I got at World Market several months ago. I have candles lit every night whilst sitting on my heating pad.

#9. Post it notes and colorful pens. I am a writer, after all. Writing ideas randomly pop into my head when I’m not feeling motivated to haul my butt upstairs to our office to type them into a draft. And picking a fun colored pen makes me happy, like when I was in kindergarten and opened up a big box of crayons, delighting in the variety of colors I had to choose from.

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#10. My yoga mat. Ok, let me be clear-I am not (at least not yet) a yoga gal. I like using it when I’m doing my morning stretches and other floor exercises because our house has almost zero carpet and my old-ish body appreciates that little extra padding.

#11. Music. Best therapy ever. ‘Nuff said.

Wednesday’s Wonderful Word

According to this handy dandy publication, the word “fodder” used as a noun means:

  • Feed for livestock, especially coarsely chopped hay or straw.
  • Raw material, as for artistic creation.
  • A consumable, often inferior item or resource that is in demand and usually abundant supply: romantic novels intended as fodder for the pulp fiction market.

Read more at http://www.yourdictionary.com/fodder#C0Bde5M1aeOGk27x.99

Since I don’t happen to own any livestock, this word has a different meaning for me.

Fodder is indeed raw material for my creative writing. 

It’s kind of like Kettle corn, hot and fresh, right out of that big black pot, for me anyway.  I can’t ever have enough of it. 

My goal every day is to keep my fodder radar at the highest level possible. This requires me to be present, in the moment which is a gift unto itself.  Sometimes the fodder is crap, when I start thinking about how I can use it to pen a great post. Other times it will spark a new idea, something unexpected. That’s when writing is especially enjoyable.

 

 

 

The music of a melancholy Monday

Yes, unlike my usual upbeat self, today, Monday, I am feeling blase, minimally motivated, and melancholy-ish. There’s no good reason for it I’m healthy, Hubs and I have a nice home to live in, the spawn are fully functional adults, busy with their own lives far away from here. Maybe that’s it.

September is a month I have always loved. And here I am, smack dab in the middle of it, and I just don’t have the same enthusiasm I used to at this time of year. I see all the pictures on Facebook of those friends and family of mine with their kids sporting their new duds on the front stoops of their family’s home for the first day of school. Some of those kids are smiling (not surprisingly, the younger they are, the bigger the smiles), some have that look on their faces that communicate they are cooperating with this photo shoot under great duress.

Weird thing is, it turns out as much as I was pining for the “empty nester” years whilst my spawn were spewing hateful insults at each other and gifting Hubs and I with gray hair, I do terribly miss those days. Funny how that is.

On those odd days in which I’m not feeling so perky, I rely on my music. Not only am I drawn to a great melody, solid drum beats and guitar riffs; I am a sucker for a great lyric. Some just stick with you. You know what I mean, right? They resonate with you at your core. They make you think of someone you love or have loved. They make you feel less alone in the world. They make you feel better.  Sometimes they even inspire you.

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This is the part of this post where I am going to do a little sharing.

Here’s just a few song lyrics that resonate with me right now, today. Monday.

“We can never know about the days to come, but we think of them anyway”-Anticipation by Carly Simon.

Honestly, I probably do this too much.

“Some people are just meant to be a memory, to be called upon to remind us how we’ve changed”-Coming Back to a Man by Dawes

Sad, but true. Relationships we have throughout our lives provide some good lessons. 

“We are the lucky ones, some people never get to do all we got to do”- Now and Forever by Carole King

How I feel about my marriage to Hubs. We most definitely are the lucky ones. 

“If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad, if it makes you happy, why the hell are you so sad?”-If It Makes You Happy, by Sheryl Crow

Good question. The answer often alludes me.

“You can build a mansion, you just can’t live in it. You’re the fastest runner but you’re not allowed to win. Some break the rules, and let you cut the cost. The insecurity is the thing that won’t get lost”-No one is to Blame, by Howard Jones

My way of expressing the frustration I have with myself as a writer. 

“When the road gets dark and you can no longer see, Just let my love throw a spark and have a little faith in me”-Have a Little Faith in Me, by John Hiatt

My way of saying, stick with me people. I am part hot mess and part optimist. But my determination to be light in the darkness will never wane.

“Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow, don’t stop, it’ll soon be here. It’ll be here, better than before. Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone”-Don’t Stop, by Fleetwood Mac.

I’d love to add the line “and don’t forget about today” but I’ve no clue where it would go. Guess I just think while it’s important to put some focus on tomorrow, the future that holds so much promise, not living in the present prevents you from finding peace in your soul. 

That said, I will leave you with this video. Because underneath the melancholy of today, I’m still an optimist.

Don’t Stop

 

 

Secret Confessions: 2 Truths and 1 Lie

I really dig party games. Ice breakers. Those little games played amongst a group of willing participants which often yields surprising revelations about each other. Some of you may recall a previous post I penned related to this.

Years ago, when Hubs and I would go on our annual camping trip with a group of about 12 friends, our beer-infused revelry often led to a rollicking game of “I never”. This is a simple game, which is a good thing when you are amidst friends from “back in the day” and alcohol is involved. Have you ever played this game? If not, it starts with one person proclaiming something that they have never ever done in their whole life. Then those who have done said thing are required to take a sip of whatever they are currently imbibing. 

Suffice it to say, within a very short period of time, things could get very silly. 

Today I’d like to present to you, my fun loving readers, with my version of a similarly simple yet playful game.

Responding in the comments with your very own 2 Truths and 1 lie or whatever sarcastic anecdote you wish to share is not mandatory but would make it so much more fun for us all, amiright?

Without any further ado, I present Two Truths and One Lie.

On Movies:

  • Being John Malkovich is one of my favorite movies.
  • I seriously loved the latest Mad Max movie.
  • Christmas vacation cracks me up every time I watch it.

On Careers:

  • I think I’d be an excellent music producer.
  • My ultimate goal is to write a fiction novel.
  • I would consider going to culinary school to become a chef.

I’m still married to Hubs because:

  • He knows his way around a grill.
  • He has the best one liners.
  • Unlike me, he’s not at all picky about what movies he will watch.

Random stuff I used to believe:

  • That New England was a state.
  • That I was going to become a high school English teacher.
  • That I would always live in Minnesota.

Wacky things I have done in my life:

  • I once won a radio contest where I had to sing part of a line of the song “Tush”. I won a free sub sandwich. Yay me!
  • Once when I was in college, I successfully convinced a guy I was flirting with at a bar that I was from England.
  • One of my friends at Girl Scout camp chose to not heed our scout leader’s plea to not bring candy because bears, duh. Upon being tattled on, the scout leader led us to the fire pit where my friend’s cherished bag of candy was set ablaze. Oh, the humiliation!

On Fear:

  • I am deathly afraid of heights.
  • I am freaked out by clowns.
  • I sometimes fear my blog has already peaked.

Speaking about blogging:

  • The first title I came up with for this blog was “Subject to Change”
  • I have a buttload of technical stuff to learn.
  • I’m not scared to post about things that could make me appear to be a doofus.

Things I wish I could do successfully:

  • Ride a bike.
  • Draw pictures.
  • Plan great parties.

 

Scroll Down to see the answers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lies….

Movies: I hated the most recent Mad Max movie. It was beyond weird, ridiculously violent, and utterly pointless. I only went because Hubs wanted to see it. More on me+Hubs+movies later.

Careers: I cannot imagine myself ever having the talent not to mention gumption to write a fiction novel. Non-fiction, with a twist of imagination suits me best.

Why I am still married to Hubs: It’s not because he and I share the same taste in movies. He will only see action movies and sometimes thrillers in the actual movie theater with me. Whereas, if I had my way, we’d go to see anything from rom-coms to westerns every weekend.

Things I used to believe: That I would always live in Minnesota. I have always pictured myself living in more varied parts of the country. When I was younger, it was New York City or California. And Hubs and I have moved quite a bit over the years, due to his job transfers: we’ve lived in Wisconsin, Kansas, and now Colorado.

Wacky stuff I have done: I was the girl who brought the candy to Girl Scout camp. I didn’t get my childhhod nickname of “Candy Queen” for nothing! This was one of my first experiences with true, deep shame. And our cranky scout leader scared the bejeezus out of me!

Fears: I actually do not fear clowns. In fact, I used to have quite a collection of them displayed in my bedroom. That said, you will not see me at a screening of the movie “It”. I’m not into creepy, scary movies like that.

Speaking of blogging: I am frequently in fear that my blog posts will make me look doofusy. Yet, my passion for it always supercedes this fear.

Things I wish I could do successfully: Plan great parties. Because I already possess that talent. Examples: two high school graduation parties one year apart with plenty of (mostly) homemade food, beverages, and festive decorations. That supercool party I put on when I was 16 where everyone had to dress up as their favorite pop star. I went as Moon Unit Zappa aka “Valley Girl”. It was so RAD!

 

Tales from a 50 year old optimist recently transplanted from Wisconsin to Colorado. Finding silver linings, lifting others up, sharing positively good stuff

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